Do you feel like you’re crossing the fine line of eating just enough and too much? Like sometimes, you just eat like a jerk?
Knowing how much to eat can be difficult and confusing. You want to eat for your needs, but how do you do that?
Stop counting your calories. Stop measuring out your food.
Stop guessing what portions you think you SHOULD be eating. There’s a better way and I’m going to show you.
Here are 3 ways to avoid crossing the line of eating just enough and too much.
So before I continue, this post is just scratching the surface of eating mindfully. This is an ongoing process which takes work and time.
Please work with a registered dietitian, or other expert in disordered eating for your individual needs. (PS: This does not mean you have an eating disorder.)
Back to the tips!
1. Eat throughout the day – Skipping meals, or long fasting breaks between eating triggers a couple of responses in the body that lead you to overeating, and even binging sometimes. Here is just one effect of skipping meals (especially over time):
When you are not consuming enough calories in the day, your body knows it! Therefore, it craves calories to make up for the famine that you’re causing it.
For example, have you ever been so busy all day that you ate close to nothing and then you finally relax and suddenly you’re sitting on your couch like, “Wow I’m starving right now, I want a…..” and the thing you’re wanting is high calorie such as a donut, pie, ice cream etc…..?
THIS IS YOUR BODY TELLING YOU SOMETHING! You’re starving! Your body is craving calories, which means you are going to tear up double of what you would normally eat and it’s not going to be nutrient dense. It’s going to be high fat, high carbohydrate and high calorie. This is your body’s source of fuel and you haven’t fueled it enough.
2. SLEEP MORE! – I cannot stress this enough. When your sleeping is inadequate, your body’s hormones which control the feelings of hunger and satiety are affected. Their natural response is to again, CONSUME MORE ENERGY (or calories). Therefore, you will crave more energy than you need.
I suggest to my clients (who are weightlifting athletes) to get 8+ hours of sleep and a 15-20 minute nap as a bonus. The National Sleep Foundation suggests 8-10 hours of sleep for athletes. The average American gets about 6 hours of sleep per night.
Also, sleep deprivation increases the stress hormone cortisol which can cause you to overeat and decreases the production of glycogen in muscle. (hint: you don’t want this!)
3. Eat mindfully - This is probably the one of the hardest of the 3 tips because it’s not a straightforward tip. This does not change overnight.
What is mindful eating? In short, mindful eating is a practice where you block out all the noise of life and live in the moment when you eat.
So, sit at the table and simply eat without any distractions. Turn off the TV. Check in with yourself throughout the meal and ask yourself, “Am I still hungry?”, “Am I full?”. Appreciate that meal. Chew with purpose. Feel the delicious food in your mouth. Savor each bite.
When you eat mindlessly, you are ignoring your body’s natural intuition. Your body’s amazing ability to know how much energy you need.
For more guidance on understanding how much you should eat, click on the link: https://go.nutrirev.org/training-video33640482